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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Free Picks: Michigan, USC and Notre Dame

157 UCLA vs.158 Houston (betting odds:-3) 3:30 PM EST FSN

Behind QB Keenum Houston will be an improved team from their 5-7 SU 3-9 ATS team of LY. They will be plenty focused for this 31-13  season opening revenge game on their home turf. In that meeting LY both QB Kennum and his back up QB Turner were lost in the first half. The Houston offense will be complemented by solid ground threat. But this figures to be even a bigger turn around season for the Bruins, who were 4-8 SU ATS in 2010. Much of that came courtesy of a -11 net turnover margin leading to a -59 AAFP for the season. But 17 RS , including 8+ on each side of the ball make the Bruins one of my top 5 experienced teams. Neither of these coaches has performed particularly well in the role, as Neuheisel is just 7-16 ATS as dog, while Sumlin is just 7-13 ATS as fav. It must be noted, however, that most of these records are amassed against conference foes. Of greater note is UCLAs recent record of 8-2 ATS vs. NC. UCLA has a far superior defense and should be much more consistent on offense in the second year of their switch to the Pistol offense. Live dog, wrong team favored.

159 Western Michigan vs.160 Michigan (betting odds:-14) 3:30 PM EST ABC

The Rich Rod years were a disaster for Michigan. He was 10-27 ATS, 0-9 ATS to end 2010. He was an equally poor 5-15 ATS his favorite. Only a part of that ATS log can be attributed to the fact they were -10 turnovers LY. The bottom line is this was a disastrous defensive team that allowed 36 PPG in 2010. The sad part is this is a once proud defense that allowed 28 + points in each of the two previous years. In short it will take new HC Brady Hoke a couple of years to rebuild the talent on the defensive side of the ball. In the long-term he will accomplish this goal, making money for us along the way. His 21-14 ATS log L3Y at Ball State and S.D State attest to that. For now, however, he is faced with a home opener against a rival underdog with a look ahead to Notre Dame next week. Though Western Mich. is just 10-16 ATS away of late this is a rivalry road dog who will be playing with super emotion against Big Brother. The Broncos have a potentially explosive offense behind QB Carder and a greatly improved defense. WMU coach Cubit is familiar with Hoke from his years at Ball St.  No doubt, there will be a bit of contempt. Rivalry dog is the way to play here if you are tuning into ABC for this.

161 Minnesota vs. 162 USC (betting odds: -23) 3:30 PM EST ABC

Each of these teams in on my play against list. The Gophers take to the highway for game 1 with a new HC, Jerry Kill, and virgin QB who is a converted wide receiver. Hard to believe there will be immediate success. But for the Trojans it is "Air in haste, repent at leisure." Their 8-5 record of 2010 may be the best they do with the probation years still ahead of them. Find it highly doubtful that HC Kiffin is the man to guide them through these troubled waters. And his dad, a renowned defensive guru, did little to support that reputation last season. He authored a stop unit that allowed 27 PPG and 400 YPG. Yet the mental seems to be all on their side as there are few expectations for the Gopher while there is plenty to prove for the home team.

163 South Florida vs.164 Notre Dame (betting odds: -10) 3:30 P EST NBC

As always the line maker is showing Notre Dame plenty of love. This year he can back it up as the Irish feature 17 RS for second year HC Brian Kelly. He guided Dame to an 8-5 SU mark in his maiden voyage. That included 4 consecutive wins to close the season. Key intangible in their return to national significance is a loosening of the reins by an administration that seems to once again have made football a priority( note: hand slaps for indiscretions that would have previously resulted in much harsher punishments). On the opposing bench is second year HC Skip Holtz who will be celebrating his home coming on a field where he both played and coached some 20 years ago. Look for vast improvement in the USF offense now that QB Thomas is maturing into the Bulls leader. Holtz has a long term history of success in this role, logging a 27-10 ATS mark as underdog at ECU and USF, including 4-2 ATS LY. As many of the Big East teams have learned S. Florida has one dominant advantage against many northern teams.  Expect this speed advantage to be on display this afternoon making USF the odds on play to do no worse than come through the back door.

Movie Free Picks: South Florida at Notre Dame Betting
What college football bettors need to know about South Florida at Notre Dame (Saturday, September 3rd, 2011) from - Including predictions from Marco D'Angelo and analysis from host RJ Bell.

I was born in Oakmont, PA – a couple blocks from the world famous Oakmont Country Club, before it became world famous. I attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where I played varsity basketball... Read more

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